VIDEO: Brett Favre voted into Pro Football Hall of Fame

Posted at 8:04 PM, Feb 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-03 12:58:04-04

"They ought to put him into Canton right now." - 620WTMJ Packers Radio Network analyst Larry McCarren.

He said those words seconds after Brett Favre's 15th career comeback - a trademark last-minute touchdown pass with 12 seconds to go - produced a win over the Minnesota Vikings in 1999.

That moment in Canton for Favre, 20 seasons in the making, will finally happen - nearly 17 years after McCarren uttered that phrase.

A panel of voters have voted to put Brett Favre into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, in the most exclusive class of football greatness.

He will be enshrined on Saturday night, August 6 at the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

The class that will join him also includes:

- Eddie DeBartolo, Jr., former owner, San Francisco
- Tony Dungy, Coach, Indianapolis and Tampa Bay
- Marvin Harrison, WR, Indianapolis
- Kevin Greene, LB, five teams (plus linebackers coach, 2010 Green Bay Packers)
- Orlando Pace, T, St. Louis
- Ken Stabler, QB, Oakland, Houston, New Orleans
- Dick Stanfel, OL, Detroit, Washington

It was reportedly an easy decision to make Favre a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News said the discussion around Favre took "six seconds."

Some consider him the finest football player to ever wear a Green Bay Packers uniform. That could be debated.

What probably should not be debated is that Favre re-wrote the NFL record books, setting career records in virtually every category.

What also shouldn't be up for debate is how, by sheer force of folksy but gutsy personality, Favre not only led the Packers to win games, but connected to the sports' most dedicated fans more with his sometimes child-like wonder and style of play than any other football player in history - Packers or otherwise.

It would not have happened if now-Pro Football Hall of Fame general manager Ron Wolf hadn't scouted him since early 1991.

“I was working for the Jets at that time and the Jets, we were of the opinion that he was the best player in that draft - the 1991 draft and that's when born out, even though he went in the second round he was the best player - absolutely no question about that," said Wolf.

“He quarterbacked Southern Mississippi, beat Florida State at Florida State, Auburn at Auburn, Georgia at Georgia, I don't think I need to go on. Those were just unbelievable wins for the Southern Mississippi team and it was all led by that number four, Brett Favre. I had an occasion, maybe five or six years ago, I'd be driving and listening to an interview with Pat Dye, who was the former head coach at Auburn, and he was asked the question, 'Who is the best player your team has played against?' and without two seconds, he said Brett Favre."

By November 1991, Wolf was the Packers' new general manager, hired by then-President Bob Harlan.

The rest is history.

A re-written NFL record book. Three MVP awards. Dozens of comeback victories. Tens of thousands of yards passing. Millions of fans entertained and attached at the hip to the gunslinging arm of No. 4

"The thing I always admired about him, and I said this when I gave speeches about him, is he played the game with the passion and enthusiasm of a kid on a sandlot," said Harlan.

"You don't see that a lot in the NFL. He was the same way in the locker room. He was that way on the team bus, on the team plane. He was always the prankster, the one who had a good time with everybody. The players respected him, respected his leadership, but they also knew he was one of them, a down to earth guy you could have a lot of fun with. Nobody had more fun than Brett."

No one also played more ocnsecutive games than Favre: 297 - a record that may stand forever in NFL annals.

"He is a complete competitor… playing the game was very, very important to him," said Wolf.

"The fact that he never missed a game, would indicate how important that was to him. I think that's a quality that very few possess. He had to be on the field, and he had to lead the team and the fact that he had a lot of injuries and went out and played and made other people play better. He had, I think, the leadership factor, the fact that he was gifted, he was a gifted passer - people always wanted to talk about the rocket arm - obviously, you cannot do what he did without having an exceptional touch, and an exceptional feel as a passer is concern. He had all those things, plus he had that indomitable will to be successful, and he was."

Yes, he was traded away in a painful "divorce" to the New York Jets in 2008.

Yes, he became a Viking in 2009 and ended his career there in 2010.

But after a reunion filled with tears, forgiveness and joy, he returned to his rightful place in Packers history - and now, in NFL history.

"In such a rich football tradition, like the Packers, to be mentioned in the same breath with a player the caliber of Don Hutson - and that is where Favre is in the hierarchy of former Packers - is in of itself a tremendous statement for anybody that knows anything at all about Green Bay Packers football," said Wolf.

"In my opinion, he's the greatest player ever to play for the Green Bay Packers."

They'll be putting him in Canton, where he belongs.